The Null Device

Posts matching tags 'glasgow'


More in news on railways of the future: there are plans in Scotland for building a 300mph Maglev rail link between Edinburgh and Glasgow. The link would, in theory, cut travel times between the two Scottish cities to 15 minutes, effectively combining them into one conurbation. The proposal has received support from the head of the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport, which operates public transport in greater Glasgow.

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Scottish skronk-pop trio Bis have reformed, albeit for two gigs only. Bis will be playing at King Tut's in Glasgow on the 6th of April, and the NME/Carling/Xfm/VirginMobile Academy in Islington on the 7th.

(via Londonist) bis gigs glasgow indie 0


What's the UK's favourite tourist city these days? No, it's not London. Nor is it Edinburgh. It's Glasgow.

Conde Nast said Glasgow had been singled out for its people and hospitality as well as its lively nightlife.
I wonder whether a perceived higher risk of terrorist attacks in the capital had anything to do with this.

(via Londonist) glasgow travel uk 0


Budget airline Ryanair, known for flying to cheap airports hours away from the cities they nominally serve, has outdone itself. The airline ran ads in Norway offering flights to "London Prestwick" airport. Prestwick, on the outskirts of Glasgow, is 400 miles (and some 5 hours by train) from London, and technically not even in the same country; chances are that, if you're already at said airport, the quickest and cheapest way of getting to London would be to catch another flight.

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The Scottish tsunami benefit concert looks pretty good, with Belle & Sebastian, Mogwai, Teenage Fanclub and Franz Ferdinand, among others.

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A Member of the Scottish Parliament is calling into an inquiry into allegations at traffic light controllers in Edinburgh and Glasgow are deliberately creating traffic mayhem to encourage people to use public transport, undoubtedly motivated by some extremist green agenda. There have been rumours of this sort of thing happening in London too; could Loony Left Red Ken be behind it?

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The first film I saw today was Wilbur Wants To Kill Himself, a Danish/Scottish co-production. This was a black comedy/drama of sorts about a chronically suicidal man who helps run a second-hand bookshop in Glasgow with his overly indulging brother. Oh, and various women (including a slightly dippy nurse at the hospital where he goes for counselling) find him irresistible. The film has a dry, deadpan humour about it, maintaining it among the grim circumstances (other than suicide attempts, the story includes terminal illness and tragic death), and yet while there is emotion, the film keeps on, with a combination of Scottish stoicism and the Scandinavian aesthetic; you can't help but feel that, were Hollywood money involved, it would have been smothered in shmaltzy sentimentality, hamfistedly grabbing for the audiences heartstrings to manipulate them to tears, though since there isn't, there's none of that there.

The visual side of things was quite beautiful, with good use of that cold Northern sunlight, and lots of blues and greys; the cinematographers made good use of the Glaswegian locale. The soundtrack (by Danish composer Joachim Holbek) was also quite good, reminiscent in places of Hilmar Orn Hilmarsson's score to Englar Alheimsins, a film with which Wilbur Wants To Kill Himself shared more than a few similarities. Hopefully Wilbur won't disappear without a trace as Englar did (despite Fat Cat releasing its soundtrack, probably due to the Sigur Rós songs on it) once its film festival run finishes, as it's really worth seeing.

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Computer scientists in Britain are tackling one of the hard problems in speech recognition: developing software which understands Scottish accents. The Glaswegian accent is one of the hardest on current speech-recognition software (which tends to be rather London-centric, if not American). The team from Birmingham University will be paying locals to say some phrases in the "Glesca patter", which will be analysed to develop regionally-correct voice-recognition software for use in office computers and mobile phones. (via bOING bOING)

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Finding myself in Glasgow last night, I decided to go to see whoever was playing at the 13th Note. First up was an outfit calling themselves Blind Dug, who were described as "rock with progressive leanings", and pretty surely disproved the assertion that the difference between prog-rock and post-rock is capes. None of them wore a cape, and they were definitely prog- and not post-; their songs had relatively complex chord progressions, 1970s-style guitar riffs (think some of the musical interludes from The Goodies), odd time signatures, florid embellishments, false endings and lots of different sections. At one stage they announced that they only had time for one more song, and proceeded to play for some 20 minutes, changing keys and tempos quite a few times. They seem to enjoy wallowing in the excesses of the 1970s, but they do it fairly well.

Next up was an outfit named Cat Kills Six, who were a sort of grungy alternative band, though with some quite original moments. At one stage, the vocalist started doing a human beatbox, upon which the bassist went into the bassline from The Sugarhill Gang's Rapper's Delight, of which they did the first verse and then went off on a tangent.

Finally there was a band named Frayed, who were fairly textbook metal, with a heavy Metallica influence. (They covered Harvester of Sorrow as one of their songs, obviously wearing their influences on their sleeve.) Technically they were quite competent and tight, right down to the obligatory guitar solos, though they didn't diverge from the metal genre or do much else original, and ultimately ended up as Just Another Metal Band. Then again, I'm told that the singer is only 15 (which brings up comparisons with a certain Australian Seattle-sound band from the '90s). Perhaps few years they'll go on to do more interesting things.

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I just got back to London, after five days spent up north in the land of whisky and Irn-Bru. It was fun.

Yesterday I caught the train down from Inverness, through the sweeping landscapes of central Scotland, to Glasgow, the city that gave us Mogwai, Belle & Sebastian and a lot of twee jangly-pop bands somewhat before my time. Within a few hours of arriving, I had made my way to The 13th Note, a local café and band venue, which seemed quite cool, and has bands on pretty much every night. (For the Melburnians reading this: the 13th Note would be somewhere between the Empress and the Tote, or perhaps like Revolver without the house music and vague miasma of wankerdom subtly permeating everything; it's a funky-yet-too-grungy-to-be-yuppified bar with vegan food, artworks on the walls and flyers everywhere else, and a subterranean cavern where the punters go to see bands make a lot of noise.)

(Aside: Glasgow seems to have a number of things in common with Melbourne. The rain, the grid-shaped street layout, the relative lack of spectacular monuments, and of course a vibrant live music scene. It doesn't have trams, though, and the closest thing to the notorious Rangers vs. Celtics sectarian rivalries that Melbourne would have would be the occasional Serbo-Croatian soccer riot or something.)

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